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AU issues security alert to staff members

Following the increasing number of criminal activities in Addis Ababa targeting its staff members, the African Union (AU) issued a security alert notice telling its employees to take extra precautions, The Reporter has learnt.

In an alert issued last week via its security service department the AU said that, “There is a rising incident of crimes in Addis Ababa and caution should be exercised.”

The department has also indicated that it has issued similar alerts on April 12, 2019 and stressed that there is no change in the level of crime and caution should be exercised.

“Some of the reported incidents involved were attempted robberies in the African Union headquarters premises, an armed robbery of African Union member state expatriate residences as well as robbery of local and international staff of AU,” according to the statement released. These crimes are house break-ins, acts of armed robbery – at times violent vehicle thefts, armed route ambushes especially at night time, and criminal activities around residences.”

In this regard, the organization warns its staff to avoid travels to isolated places and all movements after dark considering frequent electric light interruptions.

According to recent media reports, just a couple of weeks ago, diplomats in Addis Ababa were targets of criminal activities. In this regard, staffs of Namibia embassy were robbed by ten armed robbers. The criminal activity took place in the embassies’ residence located in Atlas, Bole in the early hours of May 18, 2019.

In a letter which is believed to have been issued by the embassy indicted that the robbers stole money, jewelries, cell-phone and laptops from staff members.

“With similar cases reported in the past, the safety of the diplomatic community remains a matter of grave concern, with the rise of incidents of this nature,” said the embassy.

The Reporter’s repeated attempts to get a comment from the AU bore no fruit.